Welcome Mat: Franklin art fair returns on Labor Day

Maureen Feighan
The Detroit News

Kitchen trend: Black stainless steel appliances

Stainless steel appliances have long been popular in kitchens, but now there’s a new trend: black stainless steel. Frigidaire this month introduced a new collection of black stainless steel appliances that are also smudge proof. The Frigidaire Gallery Smudge-Proof Black Stainless Steel Collection comes in a matte finish and is easy to clean, according to the brand. The collection includes refrigerators, dishwashers, built-in microwaves and ranges. Prices range from $499 for the Over the Range microwave to $3,099 for the Counter Depth French Door Refrigerator. To learn more, go to frigidaire.com/Collections/Black-Stainless-Steel-Collection.

More than 80 artists featured at Franklin art fair

I’m a huge “Gilmore Girls” fan and if there was ever a town in southeast Michigan that reminds me of the fictional and quirky Stars Hollow, it’s the tiny village of Franklin in Oakland County. Every Labor Day, Franklin comes to life with its tiny parade, sidewalk sales, bake sale and, of course, its fine art fair. More than 80 artists will be featured at this year’s Art in the Village fair, which runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 4. There will be pottery, fiber art, furniture, jewelry, photography, sculpture and more. Pictured is what’s called a bellabox by local artist Ruth Heginbottom. Franklin is on Franklin Road between 13 Mile and 14 Mile.

Local artist Ruth Heginbottom makes bellaboxes, custom boxes for jewelry or other special items. She’ll be one of the artists at Labor Day’s Art in the Village fine art fair in Franklin.

Add a touch of the eclipse to your home with paint

On Monday, star-gazers will experience something magical: the United States’ first coast-to-coast total solar eclipse in 99 years. Cutting diagonally across the country, the eclipse will be visible all the way from Oregon to South Carolina. But who says the star-gazing has to end with one day? Sherwin-Williams has a whole palette of colors that taps into the outer reaches of space. Called its “Space Invasion” palette, it includes nine hues including Eclipse (pictured), August Moon and Celestial. “Midnight hues and galactic brights call to mind a space time odyssey — with twinkling galaxies, orbiting planets and a total eclipse of the sun,” says Sue Wadden, Sherwin-Williams’ director of color marketing in a press release.

Sherwin-Williams’ Eclipse is a smoky, brownish hue.

Study: Kitchen sponges are one of home’s dirtiest surfaces

What’s dirtier than the toilet and has more bacteria than nearly anywhere else in your house? Your kitchen sponge. A new study published in Scientific Reports involved sequencing the DNA of 14 used kitchen sponges, all collected from households in southwestern Germany. Researchers found that they contained a surprisingly high amount of bacteria and that even cleaning sponges — I used to throw mine in the microwave — didn’t do enough to wipe out bacteria. What should you do? You can either change your sponge more often (as much as once a week) or consider a new type of sponge. Walled Lake-based Armaly Brands is the maker of Brillo sponges. They make a type of sponge that “rinses cleaner and dries faster than other sponses,” according to the brand, which eliminates the breeding conditions for bacterial growth. Brillo’s Estracell Sponges are made from a polyester-type material that the brand argues is much more sanitary than traditional cellulose sponges. They’re available at Kroger stores.